The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

Review: Soundgarden releases first full-length album in 16 years

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

Soundgarden has seen better days.

The Seattle-based grunge band helped forge a lane in popular music for a more aggressive sound, and a more aggressive lifestyle, with the grunge era of the mid 1990s.

With Soundgarden’s 16-year hiatus leaving fans and spectators alike foaming at the mouth for another studio album, 2012’s “King Animal” was easily one of the most anticipated albums of the year in any genre.

The album is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but when compared to any other work Soundgarden has released in their lengthy career, and the sad attempt it makes at grunge revival, “King Animal” is by far the biggest letdown in their discography.

The troupe of 40-somethings still has the same polished rebellion they had on earlier tracks, and tracks such as “Non-State Actor” show why they were once more important than Nirvana.

The track also shows the often overlooked and unrecognized technical skill of drummer Matt Cameron.

Cameron has always been overshadowed by the almost impossibly beautiful primal scream of lead singer Chris Cornell, and it is really quite a shame, because Cameron should be listed with the likes of Neil Peart, John Bonham and other greats in terms of ability and influence.

The unrelenting hurricane that is “Blood On The Valley Floor” is a nice introduction to new listeners of Soundgarden, but they will have to do a great deal of backpedaling to understand what they have to offer in their back catalogue.

Songs like “Taree” and “Bones and Birds” are virtually of a new vein of style for Soundgarden, almost as if they are attempting to be a Soundgarden cover band that plays 1990s rock ballad versions of Soundgarden songs.

As with a great deal of Cornell’s lyrics, they tend to attempt a sense of depth that is seemingly lost in translation.

Just trying to find an explanation for the lyrics on “Been Away Too Long” – “I am still hiding/Everyone inside/Tank girls and fly guns and silver boots on my way home,” – would be an afternoon’s worth of research yielding no results.

On the same track, however, Cornell pens a fitting chorus, presumably about the band’s hiatus. “No, I never really wanted to stay/I’ve been away for too long,” Cornell sings, making it the perfect opener for a comeback album.

“King Animal” is still generally the same Soundgarden that fans have come to expect. The only bad thing about this album is its purpose, namely the fact that there doesn’t appear to be one, which leaves “King Animal” a soulless attempt at a comeback album.

Rating: Two out of four stars

 

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

Donate to The Appalachian
$1500
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *